What’s on Your iPad? A simple question but one that leads to some fascinating answers. This is another installment of our now-regular series of What’s on Your iPad posts. I enjoy these a lot because I love seeing how people put their iPads to use – and I find them a great resource for discovering new apps.
Today’s answers are provided by Wayne Schulz. I’ve enjoyed Wayne’s online writing and his sharing of some of the most bizarre and funny wonders of the web for many years, ever since I got to know it during his stint as an editor at Gear Diary. These days I keep up with him and talk with him mainly via Facebook and Google+ – and I’m very happy he took time to do this post with me. Here’s a little more Bio blurb on Wayne:
Wayne is a technology fan who lives in Glastonbury CT and provides support and implementation services for the Sage 100 ERP accounting software. http://about.me/wayneschulz
Here are Wayne’s answers – questions are in regular text, Wayne’s answers are in block quotes:
Which iPad model do you use? (original or iPad 2, WiFi or WiFi + 3G, storage size) Any particular reasons for choosing this model?
I have all three models (the first two models being WiFi and having since been passed down to the kids).
My current iPad is the latest version (iPad 3) though I skipped over a WiFi only version and went with a Verizon 64 GB LTE model.
I was a little hesitant about moving to a model with a monthly fee if I wanted data access. Here’s why I ultimately chose the iPad with Verizon LTE (a decision I’m still happy with):
- Can turn the LTE on and off at will – no contract
- Verizon allows you to use your iPad to tether other devices (I’m using it to tether my MacBook Pro) with NO additional fee. (Note: I do NOT believe AT&T offers iPad tethering for free).
- The concept of “I’ll just connect to WiFi’ so I don’t need a data connected iPad is great except I use my iPad for note taking and connecting to Basecamp during visits to customers. It has been my experience that most companies don’t want to leave their WiFi access open and tracking down the IT folks to obtain a WiFi password is problematic. Now I can simply power up my LTE and I’m ready to go. I’m often tethering my MacBook Pro at the same time.
Do you use any sort of case with the iPad? If so, which one/s and why?
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad 2 and New iPad. It’s an awesomely thin Bluetooth wireless keyboard and case. I use it to take notes when out and about. There’s a magnetic latch (similar to the Apple Smart cover) and if I’m browsing the web I just remove it from the case.
What’s on your iPad dock currently? Do these apps pan out as your most frequently used?
Right now I have three groups of apps:
Social, Productivity, Chat
Within these groups my “go to” applications are:
Facebook: the iPad version is gradually improving. I still wouldn’t say it’s perfect. I’m a huge Facebook Messenger user and the experience on iPad is subpar compared to iPhone (notifications lag and the app is not designed for iPad)
Catch: For personal notes I’ve been using Catch. This app is similar to Evernote and I use it to segregate personal notes from my business notes (which I keep inside Evernote). I like the Catch interface on iPhone MUCH better for personal journaling because it has very easy to access icons to add photos, audio, checklists, notes, etc. Similar to Evernote all your notes sync seamlessly between devices and web.
Chat: Socialcast – I’m a heavy user of Socialcast. Aside from email it’s the application I’m using the most throughout the day. Socialcast is an enterprise social networking app – similar to Yammer. I use Socialcast to keep in constant contact with 130 other Sage business partners across the country and share support information during for my day job.
Messages: I’d like to go back to using the native Apple iMessage app. Sadly when I started using iMessage during its initial iOS 5 release it was unreliable. Some messages would not go through. Others would but took a long time. In addition to improving reliability – Apple needs to fix the issue where alerts start going off on every iOS device simultaneously when a message is received. If I’m actively reading and replying to iMessages on my iPad then I at least need an option so my iPhone and MacBook and iMac are not all sounding alerts simultaneously if I have Messages open on their respective desktops.
What are some of your other most-used apps / what’s on your first home screen? (and any reasons why you’d like to offer)
Evernote – Since I’ve stopped taking paper notes when visiting customers I rely on Evernote to capture my notes and sync them back to the web.
News (Group) – within this group of programs I keep my “go to” news apps.
Pocket (Formerly Read it Later) for reading stories that I’ve saved (usually by starring them in Google Reader and using ifttt.com to automatically save them into my Pocket account).
Day One – This is a great journal application (also available on iPhone) which I use to comment on pictures I take to remind me of things that have happened throughout the day. It will sync data across iPad and iPhone using either iCloud or DropBox.
Zite – My favorite news reader. This lets me set categories and read the top news. It claims to learn based on “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” signals you send to stories. You can also request more stores by author or topic. While I’m a big fan of RSS readers – this app allows me to make sure my feeds are not missing any top stories. I think of Zite as Techmeme.com but without the repetitive stories.
NY Post is an app which I subscribe to and delivers an almost exact copy of the Post to my iPad. Since I’m close to NYC and like to travel there often I enjoy reading the city news.
Reeder is a Google Reader / RSS Feed Reader app that I use daily to read RSS feeds. I’ve also created recipes in ifttt.com which will automatically save any “starred” stories to my Pocket account and also save them to BufferApp so that they are tweeted out evenly during the day. If you’re active in Social Media you owe it to yourself to make the most of Google Reader since there is a lot of optimization Google Reader will do in terms of re-sharing content.
How do you arrange your home screens? Do you use folders at all / heavily?
I think things are arranged pretty much like everyone else. Heavily used stuff on page one. The other pages tend to be catch alls. I use folders quite a bit and have them for News, Productivity, Chat, Social — or any category where I’m likely to have a few favored apps. I’m not into gaming or I’d probably create folders for games.
What are some of your most used productivity apps on the iPad? Any that you use for work?
Evernote for note taking – and I’m waiting impatiently for Flow (http://www.getflow.com) to come to iPad so that I can manage my To Do items on the iPad.
The Google Gmail app is on my first page for email management though the jury is out on how vital this app is to me since I am not all that big of a folder user.
Do you read any newspaper or magazine apps on the iPad? Do you subscribe to any?
NY Post and WSJ – I subscribe to the NY Post because it accepts in-app billing and is easy for me to cancel if I were to lose interest (I’ve subscribed a little over a year). The NY Post App also mirrors the paper newspaper which I like quite a bit.
The WSJ is a recent subscription which I’ve only subscribed to since the company sent me a really low cost annual “welcome” back deal of about $110 which included the paper delivered to my office mailbox plus online WSJ.
How much, if any, book reading do you do on the iPad?
No book reading – I’m planning to do more on my pre-ordered Kindle Paper White.
Any favorite iPad games or fun time fillers?
While on vacation this summer we became addicted to Mahjong! It’s an easy puzzle game but we spent hours on this for some reason. Other than that – I’m not a big game player.
Have you got a ‘hidden gem’ type iPad app that more people should know about?
This is not really a “hidden” app but I think Amazon Instant Videos – which recently came to iOS – is worth a mention. If you’re an Amazon Prime member then you have access to a selection of videos which can be streamed online. We’d been using this on my Kindle Prime. I’m glad to see it finally came to iOS.
Any killer apps you think are missing from the iPad App Store, apps you’d love to see come to the iPad?
I’m waiting for Flow (http://www.getflow) to arrive in the iPad App Store as I’m storing all my to do list items in in the iPad and Web apps.
HBO to Go without the requirement to have a subscription to HBO. I think this type of app will arrive but first we’ll need to see a hit web only show (or three) awaken the content providers to a reality that the web is a primary way to distribute first run content.
Do you tend to pay much attention to your home or lock screen wallpaper? Change it up often?
I use the boring “out of the box” wallpaper – so no I don’t pay any attention to it.
Huge thanks to Wayne for doing this post with me, and for offering such thoughtful and interesting answers.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out the excellent previous entries in the What’s on Your iPad series too.